Storm of Kings

by

Datafriends

Chapter 5: Conflict Escalates

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“I’m a protagonist?”

Mark looked at Freya in confusion.

What does that mean?”

Freya blinked and when they opened Mark felt as though the entire world around him had been plunged into night.

“Well we’re definitely not in a story if that’s what you think I mean,” Freya chided, “Cognoscenti has experienced many of your kind, people touched by the forces of destiny. Of course destiny has a fickle personality. Those whom she designates her warriors will be titled ‘Unbeatable’ in our world…” She raised her hand and the twelve streams of water subsided, “Enough of that. You have a decent magic sense and your talent clearly lies in magical control. But you must learn how to use the magic which you can control. You are not yet prepared to know about these things.”

‘I… I think this is something I should ask more about.’ Mark sent a thought towards Bruno.

Bruno turned to look at him with his eyes shining bright, ‘To waste the time of a Goddess is a crime beyond measure. As is talking to her behind her back when she can clearly hear and understand you.’

Mark turned his eyes back towards Freya and caught her bemused expression as she crossed her arms.

Mark hastily backtracked through their conversation in his mind, “Oh, so how do you cast a magic spell. Abracadabra?”

“Hmm. A magic spell is not solely a magic word. Magic spells come in a variety of forms, too many to count. Dramatic, shocking, and most definitely quiet as well. In a way magic control and magic spells are both a matter of will. Your desires, your actions, your goals and your beliefs. All of these things will shape your magic spells. If I were to use a few words to define a magic spell then a magic spell is a conscious, formal attempt to manipulate magic power and energy in order to achieve your own personal goals. It is the next step of using your magic control, utilizing the magical ingredients and materials of the world. Each different magic spell will change depending on your intents, and your materials, but there is only one thing which makes a magic spell unique to your person. That is of course the binding energy which provides you with the spark of life. You mortals call it a soul. The soul is unchangeable, immutable, and is what transforms your actions, words and thoughts into magic spells. The properties of your soul will also provide your potential in the magical arts. Those who are blessed by destiny and luck will find their souls easily accepting all types of magics, those who are unlucky will find that no matter their talent with magic sense or control they will fall into extreme pain when attempting to use the magic they manipulate to cast a magic spell. That is not to say that these people cannot cast magic spells. There are certain objects in the world which inherently possess this type of magic power, the ability to achieve your goals and most secret desires. If you magically charge these objects then you will find they perform most of the work for you. Some of these are naturally occurring, others are crafted by people. Though of course these tools are limited in which spells they will cast for you. You will be lucky if its more than two.”

Mark groaned as the information came pouring into his head. A special property of learning while inside Bruno’s soul was that due to their connection all the information learned was being branded into his very being. What Freya explained was being constantly analyzed. Freya paused for a moment to give him time to digest the lecture then brought a single tendril of water into her palm.

“Now then, there are types of spell casting. We will begin with the one Ryan uses, spell-casting in conjunction with the power and assistance of the spirits.”

****

Marie’s palms glowed bright, green on the left and blue on the right. Over her sleeves her purple robe morphed and the symbols woven into its fabric began to twist and writhe as though alive. The symbols broke up and flew into different parts of her clothing. On her sleeves ten teeth began to form from the remnants and when placed side by side they formed the shape of a dragon opening its mouth.

“Dragon Summoning; Dragon Flame.”

Gregor’s clouded irises widened and swiveled to the corner of his eyes, and by turning his neck he could barely glimpse the dark form of Marie placing her hands on his back. He shook his arms and the purple smoke surrounding him dissipated. He turned around with a powerful kick and the form of a little girl blurred and disappeared as his shin connected to it. His eyes stared vacantly as Marie reappeared a few steps away, a large red symbol of a dragon floating in the air in front of her. This was spell-casting which used the powers of animals. The etched symbols of dragons of the Black Dragon Clan carved into her robes were close enough in similarity to a real dragon that any of them by them could be used to unlock magic which utilized a dragon’s power.

Gregor’s mouth parted, “What a powerful little girl.”

The symbol flew towards him and he could only watch helplessly as it caused the air to shimmer with waves of heat. He could feel the stone floor shatter under its pressure and its chips smoldered against his skin. Even then he could only feel himself falling in front of the dominating symbol and he put his hands to his sides in resignation.

Marie frowned at his actions.

Gregor allowed the full force of the dragon’s flame to hit him in the chest, flowing alongside the attack as though he were made of water, causing it to pass through him. The remaining power released by the symbol smashed him across the room and straight into the banquet table, causing it to shatter. Marie lowered her head cautiously and ran towards Gregor, pointing her two dragon toothed sleeves towards him menacingly and stabbing down at him. Gregor let out a faint smile and raised his hand, tendrils of darkness rising from his fingers in the shape of a blade and stabbing at the claw-like teeth, shattering one and causing three others to crack. Marie flinched in surprise and Gregor slithered at her feet, grabbing onto one and throwing her into the air.

Marie’s back glimmered as she rose higher and higher and two symbols in the shape of wings appeared behind her, “Dragon Summoning; Dragon Glide.”

The symbols glowed bright blue and green, solidifying into two ebony scaled wings. The spell slowed her falling speed but she could still see Gregor underneath her. The bulky man had raised his hand calmly and positioned the blade of darkness directly underneath her so that when she fell her stomach would be pierced through.

Marie looked at him unwaveringly and her eyes flashed red, her wings shifting upward, allowing her to drift past the dark blade. She pushed her feet off against the air and somersaulted; landing cleanly and immediately leaping back into the fray. She raised her clawed sleeve from the ground and hurled it towards him in an arc advancing into his face. Gregor was expressionless as he swung his blade to block her but to his surprise she added the force of her free hand to push against his attack and she wasn’t knocked back. Instead, he was forced to disengage and his hand and blade bounced behind him, leaving him open to attack. Marie immediately took the opportunity and swung her claws towards him. Gregor’s eyes flashed and he brought the blade back over his head in an arc, forcing Marie to change her trajectory and raise both her sleeves to defend against his blow.

She sidestepped him and used the momentum of his attack to spin around, the teeth flying wildly through the air towards Gregor only to meet with his blade again inches away from his face. Marie gritted her teeth and pushed herself forward, slashing wildly and using her sleeves as claws. From the top, from underneath and stabbing towards the middle. Gregor moved like a fish in water as he bobbed and weaved his blade to counter her attacks. He finally sliced his blade from a swing near the ground and forced Marie to jump back as she was partially knocked into the air from the force of the blow.

The moment she landed on the ground she snarled and her eyes turned red. She leapt through the air like a wild animal into the watching form of Gregor and lifted her arms to smash against him with full force. Her claws sparked with energy as she clashed against his raised blade and she whipped her body back into a mid-air spin, waving her hands in a crescent and slugging his blade with the strength gained from the maneuver. Gregor shuffled back but instead of disengaging he allowed the toothed sleeves to latch onto his blade, raising his free hand and smashed it against Marie’s side, causing her to cry out in pain and shock as she was swatted from the air like a fly and was driven into a chair that splintered into pieces.

Marie growled. She could feel a severe bruise forming underneath her robes. But she was mostly unharmed.

Gregor leapt into the air at the winded girl and plunged his blade at her head. Marie rolled out of the way of the attack as the floor around her cracked and broke under the strain of the blade puncturing the stone ground. Marie raised her head at her enemy and her eyes widened as she spotted him running towards her, his foot kicking towards her. She raised her sleeves in a defensive posture and felt a powerful blow overwhelm her. She was sent flying through the air and stone broke around her as she was pounded into the wall on the other side of the room. She had made a girl-shaped imprint in the stone that was inches deep.

Gregor raised his blade towards her but before he could begin his charge a purple flash of light blinded him.

Gregor blinked, “Why Matilda, I thought you were using me as a means to initiate your protege in the art of battle.”

Matilda let a faint smile touch her lips at the man’s words, “Less talking. I have never been good at banter.”

Gregor charged at Matilda, crossing the hall with ease, and stabbed at her with his blade. Matilda ducked her head out of the way the moment the sword was about to sink into her eye and took a step back, leaping into the air. Unlike Marie she had no wings to allow her to fly, she only possessed the force of her own two feet. With a blur she was already on top of him in the air and crashing down with her two swords. He blocked them both and knocked her back with his blade, grabbing one of them with his fingers and using it to swing her down onto the ground. She pursed her back as it smacked against the stones and her body bounced back, almost as light as air. Gregor didn’t hesitate as he leapt after he. The moment she bounced into the air helplessly he spun with his full momentum to round house kick her in the stomach. Matilda grinned as she intercepted the kick with a blade and Gregor’s foot was sliced in two. Her body was sent flying once again into the air while Gregor dug the sword out of his foot and stabbed it deep into the ground.

“Not bad for an old crone.” Gregor murmured.

His figure shimmered as he disappeared and reappeared in front of Matilda with his blade arching towards her face. She grimaced and picked herself up, exchanging a dozen moves with him. Every blow from Gregor felt as though she was being hit by a boulder and she grunted as he knocked her arms back and slashed her chest. A dark liquid spurted from the deep wound. Gregor immediately used the opportunity to slash into her with both blade and fist, cutting into her left leg and laughing as he raised his hand to smash against her, flinging her back and giving him the opportunity to grab onto her leg and swing her from side to side into the ground. Matilda felt herself brushing in and out of consciousness as she was swung in the air and smacked into the ground more times.

Gregor dropped the near-lifeless woman onto the ground and lifted his damaged foot, smashing it against her head and cracking the ground underneath it. By now the liquid seeping out of her wounds had covered his body and the floor. Gregor frowned as his eyes shimmered with light, but then he shook his head and the light was replaced with with clouds as though he was harboring a fog. He stepped back and lifted his blade to deliver the final stab into Matilda’s heart but as he lifted his arm to plunge the blade he was shocked as his entire body stiffened and refused to move.

“Ah, it’s about time.”

Matilda’s eyes flashed and she blurred, reappearing behind Gregor with her blades swiveling through the air. The air whistled behind her and a thump resounded as one of Gregor’s arms fell to the floor, severed clean from his body. Matilda looked back and blurred again, her still form appearing in front of Gregor and another thump resounding across the hall as his second arm fell to the ground.

Matilda turned calmly to face her paralyzed foe, “So it appears that you do not have full control over Gregor yet.”

She tore open the section of clothing that had been near her damaged leg to reveal a purple substance bleeding out of her wound.

“They always did call me heartless. But when your body has no blood what need is there for a heart?”

Gregor hissed, “Poison.”

Matilda flicked her tongue in and out of her teeth, “It looks like he was prepared for your takeover. Unable to cast a single spell, failing to unlock even the slightest margin of Gregor’s speed and power, activating not one of his defensive spells that make his body indestructible, unable to access his memories and having to rely on external magics to attack. You have made a truly terrible attempt at possession.”

Matilda looked behind Gregor.

Marie had freed herself from the wall with the help of the shadow guard and while they defended her from the liquid creatures she calmly walking towards Gregor with her sleeves lifted.

“Very good Matilda. An entertaining fight.”

She pointed at Gregor’s prone body.

“Now let’s get this damn thing out of his body.”

****

“Woah there buddy.”

Ryan jumped back as the assassins dagger sliced at the empty space he’d just been in. The assassin stared at him emotionless and brought his weapon back to his front, stabbing it towards Ryan. Ryan looked at him with a slight smile as he jumped back again. The assassin was well equipped but there was one clear difference in their skill sets.

Talent.

Ryan was a magician that used spirit-type spell casting. He was well versed in conversing with spirits and crossing elemental realms with his real and astral bodies. No matter how well trained an assassin was in the real world inside this spirit realm they were bound to find themselves feeling sluggish and their reactions halved. Ryan was naturally at a disadvantage when it came to weapons but this gap in movement ability was a difficult one to close in a short amount of time. He had spent four years of effort honing his abilities in order to catch up to the most agile of spirits and moved like a lion across the Savannah.

The assassin’s eyes narrowed from behind their mask. They had already figured out what was happening and stood still watching Ryan. It was a true testament to their skill and ability that they had already pinpointed their main weakness after a few seconds of fighting in the dream realm.

Ryan waved his robed magnanimously, “Hello friend, we don’t have to fight. I’m peaceful guy and I am perfectly willing to let this entire incident go without a single hesitation. If you return to the outside world and I never see you again I’ll be happy.” He coughed lightly into his robe and peeked at the assassin coyly, “If you wish to continue fighting then I am afraid I can and will only run away. It’s probably going to be a lot easier for you if you pick the second option.”

The assassin made a retching motion in disgust, “Ryan Oswald? A man of peace? You will die today murderer.”

‘Murderer.’ Ryan’s eyes widened in surprise as the assassins voice floated towards him, ‘A woman?’

The assassins eyes glazed over and she leapt towards Ryan, growling when she found he had already moved out of her reach.

“Woah, woah. Listen to me. I don’t want to fight.” Ryan held out his arms in front of him in a gesture of peace.

The assassin blurred in response and they continued their game of cat and mouse. The half-formed buildings and faceless civilians blurred as the two moved through the Earthen town. If he looked closely Ryan could make out faint reminders of his previous life, the one he had left behind when he’d died. It gave him a nostalgic feeling, like finding an old video of a childhood home. By now he had completely lost the dream spirit’s trail as his concentration was drawn towards the mobile assassin and he sighed in regret as the buildings started to disintegrate, their purpose having been served. Suddenly the assassin hesitated in her chase and stood motionless.

Her voice was as cold as ice, “You’re stalling.”

Ryan flashed her a smile, “You’re right.”

The assassin’s eyes darted back and forth and she made a dash towards the entrance to the dream realm they had both entered from.

“It’s too late for that.” Ryan called after her, “But if it’s any consolation I did tell her not to cripple anyone.”

“Who-” The assassin let out a sharp hiss.

Blood spurted from the assassin’s body as criss crossed scratches formed long lines across her. In an instant she had gone from a mid-air leap to a tumble and fall onto the ground, groaning in pain. Freya may have been occupying a kitten but she could cut an enemies body in such a way that they would be paralyzed from the pain for hours. The fact that the assassin was still conscious and hadn’t dissipated from the dream realm naturally as a result already amazed Ryan. He moved towards her and kicked the dagger out of her hands before lifting her in his arms and carrying the incapacitated girl to the entrance. Of course he had set Freya and numerous other beings loose in the real world to guard his body before arriving in the dream realm. If something had gone wrong or something living in the woods attacked him then Freya was his main defense for them to bypass, and he had full confidence that she could hold off almost any being until he could get back into his body.

An unconscious assassin that was asleep was almost no effort to the kitten.

“Cheh. You’re pretty heavy.” Ryan mused out loud as he finally crossed the door into Cognoscenti, “See you on the other side.”

“Mortal.” A deep throated voice called out to him in greeting.

Freya was lying down across an unconscious body laid across a stray patch of grass and licking herself.The assassin looked much like she had in the dream world, except her dog mask had been torn off from the side and her black robes were shredded until the magical symbols engraved in them had been rendered powerless. Underneath the robes the assassin had equipped a tight-fitting black uniform.

Ryan couldn’t help but whistle, “You can get up by the way. I know you’re conscious.”

In response to his words the assassin lifted her face off the ground and Freya jumped off of her body. The assassin threw back her long hair and Ryan stifled a gasp as he saw she had a long scar running from the bridge of her nose to her forehead. The poor girl had been mutilated. Ryan felt a throbbing in his heart at the sight. He wasn’t the kind of guy that could simply throw off his feeling of chivalry in the face of an enemy, that wasn’t how he had been raised on Earth and it wasn’t how he intended to live his life in this new world. He’d been raised by a single mother and appreciated everything she had done for him in his life. He tried very hard not to think of his father. The sight of this girl with scars across her body from Freya’s attacks and now this one on her face made him feel a myriad of feelings.

None of them made him feel particularly good about himself.

Ryan turned to the kitten, “Heal her Freya.”

“Sentimental fool.” Freya eyed him coolly but did as he said, the scars on the girls body disappearing.

The scar on her face remained and Freya pawed at it to the bemusement of Ryan, “She does not want me to get rid of this one.”

“It serves as a reminder.” The girl picked herself up and sat down calmly, “Of the man who gave it to me. The man I must kill.”

‘I think I know where this is going.’ Ryan felt his stomach quease.

She stared into his eyes and he could see the fury within them, “That man is you.”

Ryan frowned. He knew what was happening here. This assassin had clearly encountered the previous Ryan Oswald, the one that had inhabited this body before him and he had mutilated her face. He knew all about the track record left behind by his predecessor, the violence and atrocities the owner of this body had committed. For a genius that should know no bounds that man had been remarkably petty beyond redemption. Ryan had covered his face in shame and hardly left the mansion after having his inquiries into the crimes answered by the finest information gatherers the Black Dragon Clan could command. Even the staff still gave him glances from the corners of their eyes after four years of being nice to them. With the exception of his father the rest of the family had found his activities during his criminal period rather mundane.

He tried to avoid those members when he could.

“Ryan Oswald is dead.” Ryan stated calmly.

He had seen this situation in stories and television a hundred times. A misunderstanding occurred, a person seeks revenge and then somebody ends up dead or being hunted for life because the one being chased didn’t explain that it was all a misunderstanding.

‘Well I don’t intend to make that mistake.’

The girl spat on the ground in front of him, “Ryan Oswald is standing in front of me.”

‘Ah, I am a bit threatening.’ Ryan hastily sat down on the ground in front of the girl, making sure to stay a small distance away from her hands.

He had no doubt she could use them to kill him with ease.

“Ryan Oswald is dead.” He repeated, “That son of a bitch died after getting himself so drunk that he didn’t even notice the concrete his head was smashing against when he tumbled and fell. I am a different person, one that took over his body after he died.”

“An awfully callous way to refer to his mother. She is technically your mother now, as well you know.” Freya remarked from the side.

Ryan made a shooing motion at her with his hands, “I’ve met her and I stand by my statement.”

The assassin looked at him with rage in her eyes, and a hint of confusion.

“You lie.” She stated simply, “Ryan Oswald cannot be possessed, he is a genius beyond measure.”

“Ryan Oswald was an alcoholic murderer that just happened to have enough talent to make others call him a genius. He never realized his potential or unlocked magics strong enough to make sure he couldn’t be possessed, though I doubt they would have helped in my case. I’m not exactly a malevolent entity, I just got stuck in here without meaning to. However you can probably see that I wasn’t so stupid. I’ve done my best to practice and train my magical abilities. I hold more power in my pinky than he did in his entire body.” Ryan wriggled his fingers to emphasize the point, “And I would never use them to harm a living being.”

The girl watched his fingers motionlessly, although her tensed shoulders seemed to lower a fraction.

“This proves nothing. You cannot simply say a few words and expect me to believe you. You are my most hated enemy.”

Ryan nodded his head and sniffed the air, the faint aroma of incense still wafting in the clearing, “Okay. Then let’s fight.”

The girl looked surprised, “Excuse me?”

Ryan lifted his hands out in a gesture of openness, “I said let’s fight. You came here to kill me, and now I want to fight you. Is that so hard to believe?”

Ryan’s body blurred and he smashed his fist against the girl’s nose before she could move a muscle. He watched her slump into unconsciousness and sighed deeply. Freya jumped on top of the girls’ body and he laid himself down a few meters away.

And then he drifted off into sleep.

“You son of a bitch.” A furious voice called out to him.

Ryan turned around with an apologetic smile, “Sorry about that. I thought you’d say no if I asked you.”

The assassin had reappeared but because her black robes had been ruined the only outfit which had transferred over to the dream realm was her tight fitting black battle clothing. Ryan lifted his hands defensively and pounced out of the way of a fist and then a follow up kick.

“Hey, hey, hey.” He tried to calm her down, “I said let’s fight. I didn’t mean a physical fight.”

The girl raised her eyebrow at him and her scar twitched over her left eyelid, “Despicable. You sucker punch me and then have the nerve to add rules onto our bout?”

“May I please remind you that you were attempting to assassinate me only minutes earlier.”

The girl rolled her eyes and made a sound of disgust.

Ryan waved his hand at the dream realm, “Look around us. This is my battle.”

The girls eyes shifted around from side to side as buildings rose from the foggy mist that encompassed the area and slowly the sound of people chattering began to fill the area. The spirit being had felt his presence in its home and was once again attempting to distract him by showing him images of Earth. Instead of fighting against it he allowed his defenses to fall so that the spirit could reach deeper into his heart. He wouldn’t allow it to actually harm his body or mind but he would give it limited access to his memories, his desires.

Ryan looked on proudly as the world around him solidified until each individual detail looked as though it was the real thing, “This is my world. Nobody could make up this kind of place without experiencing it beforehand. You know as well as I do that the dream spirit is making these from my memories, it can’t lie and has no reason to lie about my innermost desire to see my home again. This is proof that I am not the Ryan Oswald that you have a vendetta against.”

“I… see.” The girl looked stunned at the imagery that was appearing around her.

The cars roared noisily, a place crossed over in the air and a myriad of sounds and even smells foreign to her began to overwhelm her senses. To Ryan this was his home world, to the assassin it was as though a whole new experience had opened up to her. A doorway to a universe she had never imagined. Slowly the scene shifted, and Ryan and the girl found themselves inside a small house, a single woman and three young boys sitting around a table eating quietly.

Ryan could feel his eyes moistening as he gazed upon the scene, “My mother, my two brothers and I. We lived a simple life, little to no conflict except when we plotted to murder each other behind each others backs. As most brothers do.” Ryan chuckled at the thought, “But as you can see, clearly I wasn’t in this world. The Ryan Oswald you knew grew up in Cognoscenti. I did not. This is perhaps the most obvious way of showing you the truth. Though I’ll admit I am also enjoying going through a nostalgia trip at the moment.”

The scene once again shifted and Ryan frowned. The images in front of him were not ones he had expected. The sounds of screams resounded through the air and sirens wailed.

“What is that?”

“My death. My greatest regret to this day. Though I suppose since I feel that I’ve gotten over it that speaks volumes for the lack of regrets I have in this world. I suppose this will help confirm that I’m not lying about dying.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. Now, I’ve shown you mine.” Ryan looked at her solemnly, “Will you show me yours?”

The girl raised her eyebrow at him and the hint of a smile floated across her features, “Excuse me?”

Ryan didn’t grin in return as he sat down, crossed his legs and lifted his hands into a pose of meditation. Slowly the images around them disappeared into the mist and the dream realm became a veil of fog once again. Ryan had stabilized his heart and was preventing the spirit from making any intrusions into it. The girl shivered as she realized this meant that Ryan was far stronger than the spirit in terms of magic control and magic sense. A rare feat.

“Your greatest desire is to see Ryan Oswald dead.” Ryan kept his eyes closed as he spoke, almost as though he was casting a spell, “The Ryan Oswald you wanted to kill has passed on to the next life, but your desires are not so shallow as to disappear into nothingness after a few minutes. Within your heart lies the reason for your revenge, the origin of your desires. Show me the crimes that have been committed against you.”

“No.” The girl took a step back and looked with fear as her eyes darted across the fog surrounding her, “You have proven to me that you are not the same Ryan Oswald that I seek. That man is dead. What reason do you have to relive such things. What right do you have to ask me to relive my most horrid memories.”

Ryan etched a symbol into the air, carving out his family emblem, “There are many evils in this world, many of which I do not care to confront. I am not a killer, and yet this world seems to demand that of its citizens. I am not a hero, yet it appears sacrifices must be made to right the horrible wrongs. I do not have the courage to make such sacrifices, and I definitely don’t have the resolve to kill anyone. But there is one thing I do not run from, and those are the sins of my past. ” Ryan grabbed the symbol in his hand and caressed it carefully, “I was not born in this world, but I was brought into it. I can’t deny that the guy before me that lived in this body and the man that I am are connected in a way that is beyond my understanding. I know I shouldn’t consider his actions my actions, his wrongs my wrongs. But I cannot help but feel as though I should do something right by the people he has harmed. So many people view this body with hate and loathing. Before I’d come into this world I only knew love and kindness, and it really hurts me to see so little of it present here. The memories you saw before really are a precious gift that I have come to appreciate.” He let go of the symbol and it faded into nothingness with a shimmer of lights, “To put it simply, you are one of the people that has been wronged and I feel the need to help you. That is all there is to it. Your hate and thirst for vengeance is so deep. I can feel it seeping from your soul towards me. I’ve never known that there could be such feelings that they could only be resolved with death. Do not get me wrong, I usually run away from fights. But a person like you, a young girl yet that has been deeply affected by that horrible man, only a person like you has the qualifications to make me fight them. This is how I choose my battles, by only fighting those I feel I need to help. I do not fight with weapons, or with words, I fight by healing, and I do not consider it a win until my opponent has come out better than they entered into the fight. That is why I wish for you to show me what has happened to you. So that I may help to heal you, and I will talk to you emotionally until you agree.”

“Then you are a sentimental fool.”

Ryan chuckled, “So I’ve been told.”

The girl gave him a penetrating look and seemed to be deep in thought.

“My name is Deira.” She waved her hand and a swirl of mist instantly encompassed her, “Bare your eyes upon me my opponent, for this is the moment that defined my life. View the sins Ryan Oswald has committed against me. The blood spilled, my family torn apart, and the man that instigated it all.”

Images began to form in the fog that touched Deira’s hands and then it spread further and further until the surroundings had filled with the same scene viewed from the same angle, that of the view of a little girl gazing lovingly upon an older woman.

“This is the story of my sister’s murder.”

 

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